🟥 The Doppler effect is an interesting phenomenon. There are multiple real-world applications of the Doppler effect that are found in nature and technology alike.
👉 The Doppler effect is an interesting phenomenon. It refers to an increase in the frequency of light or sound waves as the observer approaches their source. There are multiple real-world applications of the Doppler effect, found in nature and technology alike.
✱ Sirens and Whistles
Sirens and whistles are one of the most cited examples of the Doppler effect. Think of a fire truck or police siren, for example. The further away they are, the duller the sound, but as they pass right by, the noise from the sirens become deafening.
The wavelengths of the sound shorten as they approach you, and, in turn, their frequency increases. At higher frequencies, the noise is higher pitched, resulting in the loud, blaring sound you hear as the vehicle approaches. Conversely, the wavelengths lengthen as they pass you, leading to a lower frequency and lower pitch. Whistles follow a similar rule; the closer they are, the higher their frequency and pitch will be.
✱ Doppler Radar
Doppler radars are used to track the speed of moving objects. Officers use them to monitor the speed of passing traffic, while meteorologists use them to detect and interpret the weather.
Radars transmit a signal that’s reflected off an object in motion, such as raindrops, clouds, or speeding cars. After receiving the reflected signal, the device alerts its user to any changes in frequency. These shifts are caused by differences between the signal and the object that the signal was reflected off.
✱ Sonic Booms
Another real-world application of the Doppler effect is the sonic boom. This phenomenon follows the same principle as whistles, sirens, and horns. Sound waves located in front of fast-moving objects, such as a plane, are highly compressed. They rapidly expand outwards, creating an ear-shattering thud. This noise, commonly described as a thud, pop, or bang, is referred to as a sonic boom
Doppler ultrasounds have several, practical uses, and are fundamental tools to the study of heart health and heart diseases. Physicians and medical technicians can use them to track the rate and direction of blood flow, the motion of tissue, and the gradual progression of a disease. They can even be used to monitor an unborn baby’s health and development or to track the reproductive health of adults.
A naturally occurring instance of the Doppler effect is found in bats, who use it to hunt their prey.
Unlike common myths suggest, bats aren’t blind. They use echolocation, a form of the Doppler effect, to effectively move around in the dark, which is a necessity, given their status as nocturnal creatures.
These animals emit a high-pitched, whistling noise, using the echoes to navigate. Frequency shifts are used to locate specific objects and determine their shape, size, and velocity. Bats can locate bugs, fruit, and other sources of food all through echolocation.
👉↘ Source:- Christina Duron is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things digital. She has focused her career around digital marketing and writes to explore topics that spark her interest.
Early details of brain damage in COVID-19 patients
One of the first spectroscopic imaging-based studies of neurological injury in COVID-19 patients has been reported by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the American Journal of Neuroradiology. Looking at six patients using a specialized magnetic resonance (MR) technique, they found that COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms show some of the same metabolic disturbances in the brain as other patients who have suffered oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) from other causes, but there are also notable differences.
While it is primarily a respiratory disease, COVID-19 infection affects other organs, including the brain. It is thought that the disease’s primary effect on the brain is through hypoxia, but few studies have documented the specific types of damage that distinguish COVID-19-related brain injury. Several thousand patients with COVID-19 have been seen at the MGH since the outbreak began early this year, and this study included findings from three of those patients.
The severity of neurological symptoms varies, ranging from one of the most well-known — a temporary loss of smell — to more severe symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, seizures and stroke. “We were interested in characterizing the biological underpinnings of some of these symptoms,” says Eva-Maria Ratai, PhD, an investigator in the Department of Radiology and senior author of the study. “Moving forward, we are also interested in understanding long-term lingering effects of COVID-19, including headaches, fatigue and cognitive impairment. So-called ‘brain fog’ and other impairments that have been found to persist long after the acute phase,” adds Ratai, also an associate professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.
The researchers used 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), a specialized type of scanning that is sometimes called a virtual biopsy. MRS can identify neurochemical abnormalities even when structural imaging findings are normal. COVID-19 patients’ brains showed N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) reduction, choline elevation and myo-inositol elevation, similar to what is seen with these metabolites in other patients with white matter abnormalities (leukoencephalopathy) after hypoxia without COVID. One of the patients with COVID-19 who showed the most severe white matter damage (necrosis and cavitation) had particularly pronounced lactate elevation on MRS, which is another sign of brain damage from oxygen deprivation.
Two of the three COVID-19 patients were intubated in the intensive care unit at the time of imaging, which was conducted as part of their care. One had COVID-19-associated necrotizing leukoencephalopathy. Another had experienced a recent cardiac arrest and showed subtle white matter changes on structural MR. The third had no clear encephalopathy or recent cardiac arrest. The non-COVID control cases included one patient with white matter damage due to hypoxia from other causes (post-hypoxic leukoencephalopathy), one with sepsis-related white matter damage, and a normal, age-matched, healthy volunteer.
“A key question is whether it is just the decrease in oxygen to the brain that is causing these white matter changes or whether the virus is itself attacking the white matter,” says MGH neuroradiologist Otto Rapalino, MD, who shares first authorship with Harvard-MGH postdoctoral research fellow Akila Weerasekera, PhD.
Compared to conventional structural MR imaging, “MRS can better characterize pathological processes, such as neuronal injury, inflammation, demyelination and hypoxia,” adds Weerasekera. “Based on these findings, we believe it could be used as a disease and therapy monitoring tool.”
The research was supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Technology lets clinicians objectively detect tinnitus for first time
A technology called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) can be used to objectively measure tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, according to a new study published November 18 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mehrnaz Shoushtarian of The Bionics Institute, Australia, and colleagues.
Tinnitus, the perception of a high-pitched ringing or buzzing in the ears, affects up to 20% of adults and, when severe, is associated with depression, cognitive dysfunction and stress. Despite its wide prevalence, there has been no clinically-used, objective way to determine the presence or severity of tinnitus.
In the new study, researchers turned to fNIRS, a non-invasive and non-radioactive imaging method which measures changes in blood oxygen levels within brain tissue. The team used fNIRS to track activity in areas of the brain’s cortex previously linked to tinnitus. They collected fNIRS data in the resting state and in response to auditory and visual stimuli in 25 people with chronic tinnitus and 21 controls matched for age and hearing loss. Participants also rated the severity of their tinnitus using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory.
fNIRS revealed a statistically significant difference in the connectivity between areas of the brain in people with and without tinnitus. Moreover, the brain’s response to both visual and auditory stimuli was dampened among patients with tinnitus. When a machine learning approach was applied to the data, a program could differentiate patients with slight/mild tinnitus from those with moderate/severe tinnitus with an 87.32% accuracy. The authors conclude that fNIRS may be a feasible way to objectively assess tinnitus to assess new treatments or monitor the effectiveness of a patient’s treatment program.
The authors add: “Much like the sensation itself, how severe an individual’s tinnitus is has previously only been known to the person experiencing the condition. We have combined machine learning and non-invasive brain imaging to quantify the severity of tinnitus. Our ability to track the complex changes that tinnitus triggers in a sufferer’s brain is critical for the development of new treatments.”
Materials provided by PLOS. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Just hours of training triples doctor confidence in use of handheld ultrasound devices
While ultrasound imaging technology has been available for more than 50 years, machine size and cost limited its reach to medical offices and hospitals. However, relatively recent advances in this technology has allowed for the development of ultra-portable handheld devices that appear more like the tricorder from Star Trek than a traditional ultrasound machine. These devices hold high promise in many areas of medicine, but are especially promising for uses such as monitoring heart failure and pneumonia in geriatric populations that have difficulties with mobility or remain entirely housebound.
But when any kind of innovative technology is adopted into the medical community, appropriate training to ensure diagnostic accuracy and safety is essential. A recent trial showed that a short training course — which was made even shorter when it was concluded due to the encroachment of the COVID-19 outbreak — dramatically increased the confidence of four geriatricians in their ability to use the devices and interpret images they got from them. Findings from a study of the approach by Penn Medicine researchers were published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
“With ultrasound devices like these being handheld, they can fit in your pocket, so it’s always available to doctors, like a stethoscope,” said the study’s lead author, Daniel Kim, MD, a fellow in Geriatric Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “But physicians must be confident in their ability to use the technology, which means knowing the clinical indications for its usage and how to position the device to obtain adequate images and interpret them afterwards.”
Geriatric patients disproportionally face barriers to care because of their serious medical conditions and transportation challenges. Ultra-portable handheld devices, called point-of-care-ultrasound (POCUS) devices, allow for them to be carried to places like nursing homes or even homes, bringing evaluation and the potential for care directly to patients. For instance, doctors or other health professionals may use handheld devices for fluid volume assessment, often related to heart failure, as well as checking for urinary retention, pneumonia, and lower extremity blood clots, which are all common among older adults.
Currently, there are training curriculums for emergency medicine physicians and trauma surgeons to learn to use these devices, but courses for geriatricians have not been established. As such, Kim and his coauthors created one, which included a hands-on workshop, to train the doctors working regularly with older populations. They tested it among four different fellows in geriatric medicine who considered themselves novice users at the start.
After Kim’s four-hour ultrasound training workshop, the four geriatric medicine fellows’ overall comfort and confidence in both using the POCUS device and interpreting the images doubled. By the end of the extended curriculum, which included about an hour of supervised scanning on patients each week, that comfort level almost tripled. These gains were roughly similar along three of the four separate areas of focus that the course covered (bladder, lungs, and internal jugular).
There was a difference when it came to the assessment of the heart. Confidence in using the device did increase dramatically, and continued to do so after the workshop, albeit at a much shallower rate than the other areas of focus. But confidence in the interpretation of images of the heart actually declined somewhat.
“A decline in confidence in heart ultrasound image interpretation after a brief training course is not uncommon,” said senior author Nova Panebianco, MD, an associate professor of Emergency Medicine and emergency ultrasound fellowship director. “Cardiac ultrasound is so complex that even cardiologists sometimes obtain additional fellowship training in the subject. I suspect that, with training, the geriatric fellows realized how much more there is to know.”
These high gains in confidence were remarkable because they came quickly. The workshop was held on the first day of the curriculum, Jan. 18, 2020. While scheduled to run for six months, the curriculumwas only able to continue into March due to COVID-19’s outbreak. It was then suspended because a large part of the training centered on doing supervised scans, which was not possible amid social distancing. But the doctors had already gained a significant working knowledge of performing exams through the POCUS devices by then.
Kim hopes to develop new methods for teaching the use of this device among older populations, and expand the training to Geriatric fellows from nearby health systems.
“We want to organize a virtual ultrasound webinar workshop and teach others to use a similar model for instruction,” Kim said. “We hope that the more people we can get in Geriatrics to feel comfortable with this, the more scans we’ll be able to do on people who would never have otherwise gotten them.”
What are the best Methods for Root-Cause Analysis ?
Performing an investigation in case any type of deviation occurs is of fundamental importance nowadays and root-cause analysis methodologies play a fundamental role within the regulated environment.
Events and Casual Analysis
The Events and Casual analysis is a tool that describes the necessary events and causal factors for accident occurrence in a logical sequence. It is a classic method for root-cause analysis. From practical point of view, it is a chart which has the timeline as heart of the chart. Specific symbols are used to define the type of interconnections between the different events that led to the issue.
Other symbols that can be used to describe interconnections are these following:
This method is based on some principles, mainly the following:
- All the negative events are caused to happen.
- Undesirable events are caused by additional causes.
- The root cause(s) can be determined by analyzing the cause-effect relationships around a primary effect.
Let me assume that the deviation we want to investigate is a non-conformity due to a missing records for a specific training on a defined QMS procedure.
Change Analysis : Kepner-Tregoe Method for root-cause determination
Another tool for root-cause analysis is the so-called Change Analysis, which Kepner-Tregoe method. In fact this methodology was developed by Benjamin Tregoe and Charles Kepner, whom performed extensive research on rational decision making and problem solving.
The Kepner Tregoe method is a problem analysis model in which the “problem” is disconnected from the “decision”. This method is basically based on four different steps:
- Situational Analysis
- Problem Analysis
- Decision Analysis
- Potential Problem Analysis
The situational analysis is the first step and the goal is to answer the question “What is happening?”. Specifically, this phase involves the identification of concerns, setting priorities and planning activities for the next steps. The main focus of the situational analysis is to set priorities and avoids to work on the wrong issue.
Problem analysis helps to answer the question “What Went Wrong?”. The problem analysis helps sharpen the focus on the right data and helps avoid the tendency to arrive at the wrong cause because irrelevant data or facts have been taken in considerations. The problem analysis includes the following:
The output of the problem analysis plus all the possible alternatives that could be identified to resolve the problems and the related risk assessment for each of the options identified are the key factors of a decision analysis. In any case the risk assessment is the core of this step and all the possible solutions shall be evaluated from risk point of view.
Potential Problem Analysis
Before rushing into action making your decision take hold throughout the organization, think about the various issues that may come up and how they will be dealt with. This is a preventive step to evaluate all the possible issues that might come up after all the corrective actions have been implemented.
Fault Tree Analysis: widely used tool for root-cause analysis
Fault tree analysis was initially developed for the aerospace sector and extensively used by the Boeing company before becoming a widely used method for root-cause analysis.
Fault tree diagrams (or negative analytical trees) are logic block diagrams that display the state of a system (top event) in terms of the states of its components (basic events).
From practical point of view, the fault trees are built using gates and blocks. Usually the most common gates are AND and OR. Then, there is a whole set of symbols that could either Gate Symbols or Events Symbols.
The 5 Whys is a widely used technique which is part of the Analyze phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology. It is a great Six Sigma tool that does not involve any use of statistical tools. By repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five is a good rule of thumb), you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Very often the ostensible reason for a problem will lead you to another question.
Failure Mode Effect Analysis
The failure mode effect analysis it is usually a tool used for risk assessment and analysis of risks, either for a process or for a product. However it is a method that it is used as well for root-cause analysis, because it correlates the specific failure with:
- The effect that the specific failure could impart
- The cause in relation to the specific failure.
The FMEA is using a preventive approach as it does not need a specific event to be used. Rather, it is a technique that is used to envision all the possible failure modes that could happen within a specific system, and the related potential effect and related root-cause.
Below a general template for a FMEA table
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